Posted on April 7, 2022
Proper alignment on your boat lift is crucial to safe storage. Impatience doesn’t pay off when you're at a severe angle or low water level away from ending up as a viral video online and paying for repairs to your boat, lift, and dock. Even if the leveling isn’t dramatically off, improper loading can cause strain on your lift, fill your boat with water, and decrease the lifespan of your equipment. We have some tips to help you ensure that your boat is level on all types of boat lifts.
A boat lift that’s level in the first place goes a long way. The front and rear of your lift should be level to each other to distribute the pressure and weight of your boat. It’s likely that your back legs will be longer than your front legs, depending on the slope of your shoreline. As long as you’re adjusting, make sure that your bunks and guides fit your boat. Use your trailer as a guide, and do the two sides at the same time to avoid bind-ups.
Bumpers and guides are very practical accessories to add to your lift. A guide-on will prevent your boat from overrunning the end of your lift. Bow guides on the side of your hoist will give you landmarks to keep an eye on as you’re centering your boat before landing.
If your water level fluctuates throughout the season, a way to adjust your boat lift on the fly is crucial. Some docks feature adjustable leveling legs, and others can float directly on the water to adjust automatically. The ability to adjust your lift means that it will remain useful no matter where your water level is. If the water level drops a foot or more, you might be able to change where your rack beam is positioned.
Keep an eye on the water and flag or another object that you can use to tell you more about the strength and direction of the wind and current. Line yourself up properly with the bunks—don’t approach at an angle. If you’re not in a good position, back up and try to pull in straighter. Make small adjustments with the throttle and steering wheel as you go. Use your guides to line up, but also know where your boat belongs on the lift by using landmarks, like where your gas cap sits in relation to the guides. Finally, when your lift is in operation, make sure the weight is as evenly distributed as possible and nothing is jarring your watercraft.
Luckily, boat lift adjustments are easy with HydroHoist boat lifts. Our HarborHoist lifts are designed to withstand saltwater and maintain performance while floating on top of the water, allowing them to adjust with the water level. Contact us online for personalized help with products, boat lift parts, installation, and so much more.